Oct 28, 2013 -- 2:01 pmWith autism spectrum disorders on the rise, schools need to be strategic about giving all students the chance to succeed. In 2002, the centers for disease Control and Prevention estimated that one in 150 children had been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. That number today? One in 50.
It's not clear how much of the rise is due to actual increases in instances of autism, how much is due to better diagnostic tools, and how much is due as some skeptics charge to overdiagnosis.
Whatever the case, one thing is certain: Schools now have three times as many kids with autism diagnoses, all of whom require special services. Administrators who don't adequately address these needs will quickly find themselves engaged in legal battles with parents who are increasingly willing to fight for what they believe their children are entitled to. But more important, schools without good autism programs risk leaving a growing segment of their student population behind.
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